27 March, 2013

A trade with Brad

I recently completed an awesome trade with Brad of Brad's Blog.  You can see some of what he got from me at his blog.  Brad's a rad dude and he was very easy to deal with!  I forgot to take a photo of the 1989 Fleer #616 card of Bill Ripken that Brad sent to me in the trade.  However most, if not all of you, should already know what that infamous "Fuck Face" card looks like.  Here are the hits I received (Brad sent an awesome chunk of Dodgers cards, which I will post separately):

2012 Chrome, Yu Darvish sepia rookie refractor, #'d 66/75.  As I mentioned to Brad, I have an odd affinity for collecting cards numbered "66."

2011 Chrome, Brandon Beachy base rookie autograph.  Beachy is one of my favorite young gun pitchers, both for spectating and in fantasy baseball (when he's healthy).  This card is an upgrade over my first Beachy rookie auto, an ugly dud from Tier One.  He underwent Tommy John surgery in 2012, but should return this upcoming season.

Here is a gorgeous 2012 Chrome blue rookie refractor auto of Jesus Montero, #'d 055/199.  Brad actually sent me both Montero rookie autographs that he owned - a black and a blue refractor from this set - so that I could choose which one I liked best.  A class act, that's what Brad is.

This card is the highlight of my trade package.  2012 Five Star Fergie Jenkins auto, #'d 17/25.  I've always wanted an autograph card of Ferguson Jenkins - first Canadian enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame, Cy Young winner, member of the 3,000 strikeout club, and a Harlem Globetrotter.  Sweet!  On card signature to boot!

Thanks for a great trade, Brad!

26 March, 2013

Dodger Southpaws

While browsing the glass display cases at my local card shop this past week, I happened upon this card, next to an entirely faded and ruined travesty of what was a once-proud Sandy Koufax autograph card:

1961 Topps #207, Dodger Southpaws.  Koufax two days in a row!

I purchased the card to rescue it from the harsh, inexorable ravaging of the Sun.  It is in pretty good shape, no?  The colors are still rich and vibrant too.  I enjoy the blurb on the back of the card.

I do not own very many vintage cards, but when I do I try to collect awesome ones.  I think this one of Koufax and Johnny Podres qualifies as pretty awesome.  The Dodger Southpaws are now the newest old card I own, being my fifth-oldest vintage card.  I will post those older cards eventually!

25 March, 2013

It's My Burfday! Here's a Holy Grail card!

Happy baseball birthdays to Tom Glavine and Hyun-Jin Ryu!  Also, happy birthday to Jim Lovell, Elton John, Tatjana Patitz, Anders Fridén (\m/), Bob Sura, Wladimir Klitschko, Lee Pace, Danica Patrick, Arnošt of Pardubice, first Archbishop of Prague (only included him because his name contains "Arno"), and many, many others!

I thought I would wait until today, my birthday, to post a recently acquired baseball card of most epic proportions:

1998 Donruss Signature, Significant Signatures #R3 Sandy Koufax autograph, #'d 0905/2000.

"Yurp," believe what you are seeing ladies and gentlemen!  Gaze upon madness.  Gaze upon prismatic card-stock perfection.  Indeed, I obtained a "Holy Grail" card of mine.  It is quite possibly a "Holy Grail" for many other collectors too.  No, I did not purchase this Sandy Koufax auto for my birthday.  I received a substantially large tax refund this year because I apparently overpaid thousands in taxes last year.  This card represents my big refund splurge.

I bought it a few weeks ago, in fact, at All Star Cards in Santee, CA.  They are one of my favorite card stores in California, so check them out if you happen to be in the San Diego area.  My girlfriend and I were in the card shop when I noticed an Albert Pujols signature card.  I said, "Man, I should just buy that instead of a risky box of cards."  However, I then looked behind the Pujols autograph on the shelf and saw the beauty you see above.  It was an epiphany of sorts, and love at first sight.  The awesome father-daughter team at All Star Cards even knocked several dollars off the asking price.  The black ink of the "K" and "O" in "Koufax" is imperfect, but to me the card is perfection in cardboard form.

I got my Koufax!

(Sweet trade post from Brad to come soon.)

22 March, 2013

Two Bees

2B's, that is!  I have a tendency to acquire cards of players I own on my fantasy sports teams.  As a collector, it just feels right to obtain cards of players I follow throughout an entire season - even if they are not usually players or people on teams I usually collect.  For example:

I certainly don't loathe the Padres like I do the Dodgers' other divisional rivals.  In fact, I like the Padres second best out of all the teams in the NL West.  I do feel bad for the city of San Diego, with their relatively poor sports teams and the constant threat from those teams' owners to move elsewhere.  I have Jedd Gyorko on several of my fantasy baseball teams.  I think Gyorko could have himself a breakout year.  Prices for his autograph cards have risen quite dramatically over the course of spring training.

I am a fan of Jason Kipnis' combination of speed and power.  Second base is a pretty thin position for fantasy baseball in 2013.  I really like Kipnis' signature.  Awesome!  This card is an upgrade over my other Jason Kipnis rookie auto, a sticker from Tristar OBAK.

I dread the eventual day I will have to move back to the SF Bay Area for work.  So many Giants fans again.  I shudder to think it.

21 March, 2013

My Get from a 2012 Triple Threads Baseball Group Case Break

I participated in a group case break of 2012 Triple Threads Baseball last week at Rip Kings.  There were 9 boxes in the case.  I had a $5 credit from Rip Kings toward a break and saw that a few good teams (well, "good" in terms of box breaking) were available at a reasonable price, so I purchased the Kansas City Royals team slot.  The Royals are like a fifth team I root for, and they have some decent players and hits in the product.  I was hoping to score a George Brett autograph.  I did not get one, but I think I still did quite well for myself:

Hey, still managed to get some sort of George Brett card!  What do they call this, a sepia parallel?  Brown?  Not an especially aesthetically-pleasing color combination here.  Looks like a big dust storm is about to engulf the Hall of Famer, Brett.

Country Breakfast!  Sweet.  Billy Butler auto-relic, #'d 2/9.  The blue ink on the sticker is a bit imperfect for some reason.  Maybe the pen Butler used was drying up.

Cool beans.

20 March, 2013

Check out my new blog: "Worst Fantasy Sports Trades"

After receiving several ridiculously bad trade offers in fantasy baseball recently, I decided to create a blog to share the best of the worst fantasy trades with everyone.

So, please to check out Worst Fantasy Sports Trades on Tumblr.  Also, if you'd like to share some awful trades of your own, please feel free to send me a screenshot.  I would love to feature them on my new blog!

17 March, 2013

Happy St. Paddy's!

I sort of celebrated St. Patrick's Day yesterday.  I definitely have not been partying today.  In fact, I have to make a same-day, roundtrip flight to San Francisco and back tomorrow.  I usually make the mistake of drinking too much booze the night before I travel.  Being super hungover on an airplane is one of the worst things ever.

A few months ago I opened up two boxes of 2012 Leaf Memories Baseball.  It is an awesome product.  From one of those hobby boxes, I pulled an on-card autograph of one of the greatest Irish-American baseball players (and, well, I guess one of the greatest American ballplayers in general for that matter):

This Texan is #'d 32/34.

Yipee-ki-yay!  A high quality photo looks much better than a supposedly HD video box break, no?

By the way, I have a bunch of cards up for sale on EBAY this week.  Also.

14 March, 2013

It's Good to be King

King Felix, that is.  Not as good to be the Mariners organization, I suppose?  I read today that the Seattle Mariners only gained a profit of less than $5.9 million in 2012.  You can check out the same blog post at Yahoo! Sports' Big League Stew here.  With that kind of profit margin, they could sign... an NBA player that never plays!  $5.9 million is less than a third of Felix Hernandez's yearly salary under his hefty new contract.  This card definitely did not cost anywhere near those numbers:

2005 Series 2, Felix Hernandez rookie autograph.  On card!  Sweet scrawl there.

I purchased the above card a few months ago at a very reasonable price, almost exactly a month before Hernandez signed that massive contract.  It sure took me a while to post!  The prices for Felix's signatures seem to have risen gradually yet substantially since then.  Now, if only that elbow anomaly or what ever they found in his physical does not become something serious or detrimental, then the "King" will live long and prosper indeed.

There was a moment when I was concerned that the card actually depicted someone named Hernandez Felix and not the Seattle ace as I expected.

13 March, 2013

The Awesome, and Possibly Disgusting, Card I Pulled Today

I purchased a hobby box of 2012 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions with some of my tax return money.  I really like Goodwin Champions and I have pulled a monster hit out of it before.  After today, make that two big hits!

I pretty much did this when I pulled it from the pack.  So, I've already redeemed the Entomology card.  I hope it gets shipped to me soon, safely and undamaged.  I am also really hoping the card I receive does not contain a spider.  I truly dislike spiders.  Hell, I even detest butterflies.  Nevertheless, I'm sure it will look awesome!

Besides the Entomology Redemption, this box of Goodwin Champions was very good.  I managed to get four hits - a Matt Packer autograph (who?), Maryeve Dufault auto, Thurman Thomas jersey relic, and a Hakeem Olajuwon (The Dream!) jersey.

11 March, 2013

Two Morrows

After many tries to acquire a Brandon Morrow rookie or prospect autograph card, I have finally obtained one!  Well, two actually:

2006 Tristar Prospects Plus, Farm Hands Brandon Morrow signatures.  The one on top is a gold version, #'d 02/25.

As you can probably see, I was overzealous when bidding on these two cards.  My perseverance paid off two-fold.  Morrow is a good pitcher, with high heat and strikeouts, though if he could only stay healthy...

06 March, 2013

Los Angeles Catchers

Here are your two Dodgers catchers for this season:

Yaaay!  On the left: 2012 Update, Golden Moments, A.J. Ellis autograph.  On the right: 2011 Heritage Minors, Tim Federowicz auto, #'d 210/861.

I tried to acquire the Ellis signature the moment I realized it existed.  It took a long while, but I have obtained one!  Now I jealously hoard it away, as I return to Valhalla, to slumber and feed.  (Bonus points if you guess that reference.)  Tim-Fed's mustache makes him look kind of creepy, but I'm really just sullen and vexed because I can not grow one of my own.  Super catcher team, go!  Go Dodgers!

05 March, 2013

COMC Pickups

There was some confusion for me at the switch from CheckOutMyCards.com to COMC.com.  I was certainly unaware of any major differences at first.  Did this happen to anyone else?  I bought a few cards from CheckOutMyCards then switched to COMC for my second half of purchases.  To my dismay, I discovered that there are different shipping and handling costs associated with either site.  So, make sure you are using only one site or the other when making purchases!  You can't get the $3 flat rate shipping on COMC if you have items in your order from CheckOutMyCards.  I feel like COMC could have made more of an effort to communicate their changes to their customer base.  Or maybe I just ignored them.  That is entirely possible.  Here's what I got:

I love Flair cards!  If I get a job (ugh, taking forever), maybe that will be my new collecting project - making a Flair set or two.  This is a 1995 Flair #155, Mike Piazza.  Those are quite some faces you are making there, Mike.  I met Piazza not too long ago.

Here are two MMA (mixed martial arts for the uninitiated, though I can't imagine anyone not knowing about the sport by now) autographs.  On the left: 2012 UFC Finest of Dustin "The Diamond" Poirier.  On right: 2010 Leaf MMA base auto of Gabriel "Napão" Gonzaga.  Poirier, a Louisiana native, is one of my favorite up-and-coming fighters.  "The Diamond" has an excellent ground game and technical striking, and he just had a barnburner of a fight with Cub Swanson at UFC on Fuel TV: Barao vs. McDonald.  Gonzaga is a one-time UFC heavyweight championship contender.  "Napão" has been on a tear of late because he is finally using his considerable, world-class grappling skills to finish fights.

Jordan Hill!  He was doing a meet-and-greet and signing in Glendale this past Saturday.  I originally planned to attend, but I got lazy and just drank beer and played Halo 4 instead.  Besides, I already have these two autographs of him.  I would have missed out, yes, if Hill was like, "Arno, the Earth needs us, we must take my rocket ship to space and blast some fucking asteroids."  Then, yes, I would totally have driven to Glendale for that.  Top: 2009-10 Limited #157, Jordan Hill rookie jersey auto, #'d 80/299.  Bottom: 2009-10 Timeless Treasures #107, Jordan Hill rookie auto on white ball leather, #'d 240/299.

Left: 2007 Upper Deck Inkredible, Zach Miller autograph.  The Seahawks have underutilized Miller as a receiver, mostly using him as a blocker.  Right: 2010 Panini Ceritifed, Mirror Gold Signature rookie auto of Riley Cooper, #'d 03/25.  Cooper turned down the Phillies and Rangers at different times to play football.  We'll leave it at that.

On left: 2012 Chrome Purple Refractor rookie card of Wei-Yin Chen.  Chen had a nice season last year.  Also, his arm did not fall off nor did he have some other crazy injury that Taiwanese pitchers in the MLB tend to develop.  Here's hoping Chen stays tip-top!  Seriously, these Taiwanese pitchers are already beat up and damaged by the time they hit the bigs because they are likely being handled irresponsibly with a heavy workload when younger.  I can't tell if the purple and orange combination on this card is hideous or not.  I guess it works for the Phoenix Suns?  On right: 2011 Lineage 1952 Matt Harrison autograph.  Both of these dudes will probably end up on my fantasy baseball teams this season.

Finally, more Dodgers.  Left: 2011 Donruss Elite Extra Edition, Chris Reed prospect auto, #'d 103/500.  Reed is a top-five Dodgers prospect and the 16th overall selection in the 2011 draft.  He went to Stanford, which is a shitty, garbage school (fuck Stanford, go Bears), and should be at very least a serviceable starter in the future.  Right: 2012 Heritage Minors, Joc Pederson Real One Autograph.  Top-ten prospect Joc has a cool name and should be a serviceable outfielder in the future.  Fuck Stanford.

Not pictured are the Brandon Morrow rookie autograph card (I have been trying to get one to no avail for the past two years) and Scott Baker auto I bought because they were damaged and I returned them to COMC.  My only problem with some cards from COMC is that occasionally they have damage you can only see side-on and not in the scans.  That said, COMC does have great customer service and are always friendly and patient when I make crazy requests of them.

I also purchased the second to last card I needed to finally complete 2009 Allen & Ginter, an Aubrey Huff SP #349.  I only require the Jordan Schafer RC SP, #339, to finally complete that set.  You will be mine, Schafer card.  Your fate is inexorable!  So yea... let me know if you have it.  Cool beans.

04 March, 2013

A Lifetime Supply of Cuban Sammiches...

...is what it would take for me to trade this card (or a Koufax, almost any card for a Sandy Koufax signature):

2012 Panini Signature Series Baseball, Rated Rookie manu-patch autograph of Yoenis Cespedes, #'d 177/299.  He has a cool scrawl.

Because it took so damn long to get a Cespedes rookie auto at a reasonable price.  Hell, I still think I overpaid a bit.  Nevertheless, done and done deal.  I alluded to this card in my previous post.  Ain't she a beauty, Fuji?

03 March, 2013

A Bob Feller Cut Signature

I obtained a Bob Feller cut signature card about a month ago.  I was bidding on a Yoenis Cespedes rookie autograph on ebay (which I won and will post about eventually), and while perusing the seller's other items for sale, saw this sweet Bob Feller autograph:

2012 Panini Prime Cuts, Bob Feller Souvenir Cuts, #'d 82/99.  I thought that a serial number of 99 seems a bit high for a cut signature, but I guess Feller signed a good amount of stuff.  The back blurb on this card mentions Sandy Koufax.

It is always interesting to read about Bob Feller, a World War II veteran and one of the greatest pitchers of all time, who by all accounts was a level-headed and honest workhorse, gentleman, and all around stand-up dude.  Feller was a teammate of the pioneering Larry Doby, the American League's first African-American player.  Doby was elected to the Hall of Fame on this date in 1998.  I think I will try to acquire a Larry Doby signature so that he and Feller can hang out together in my collection.